Melbourne’s retail, hospitality sectors boom

busy Melbourne streetMelbourne’s retail and hospitality sectors are growing strongly, creating jobs, economic growth and a buzzing international city, according to the 2013-17 Melbourne Retail and Hospitality Strategy Year Two report.

The report, launched by Minister for Employment, Jacinta Allan, and the Mayor of Melbourne, Robert Doyle, showed Melbourne’s retail and hospitality sectors contributed $5.46 billion to the city’s economy, a 23 per cent increase since 2013, and employs more than 63,000 people. Melbourne’s CBD is home to more than 19,000 businesses and caters to 854,000 people on a typical weekday.

Doyle said retail and hospitality accounts for six per cent of Melbourne’s $90.6 billion economy.

“Everyone wants a piece of Melbourne; in the last year alone we have hosted more than 11 million visitors and our hotel occupancy rates remain high at 86 per cent,” he said.

Melbourne’s culinary sector is setting the pace with a 32.8 per cent increase on food expenditure this year.

Retail is booming, according to the report, and continues to attract investment from major global retail brands, including TAG Heuer, Coach and luxury fashion retailer Sandro and Maje.

More than 1200 new retail and hospitality establishments have opened since 2013, while the total floor space in these sectors has risen to nearly three million square metres.

“This report shows our food, hospitality and retail sectors are booming, which is good for jobs, the economy and Melbourne,” Allan said.

Recent data shows there are more than 1400 hotel rooms under construction in the municipality of Melbourne, and around 3265 have planning approval.

Chair of Council’s Economic Development Committee Councillor, Kevin Louey, said the latest figures are a testament to more than 85 actions being achieved in the second year of the strategy’s implementation.

“In the last year we have worked closely with the Victorian government, business and industry to put a strong focus on business development and innovation, positioning and activation, business diversity and sustainability,” Louey said.

“We also awarded almost $160,000 of small business grants towards innovative retail and hospitality enterprises as well as close to $500,000 to precinct associations to support our small traders. Retail and hospitality is at the very heart of our city and we are proud to provide direct support to our business community.”

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